How to Remove a Bathroom Light Fixture

Updated July 20, 2017

Beyond it being outdated, there are many reasons you may be considering removing your current bathroom light fixture. For example, maybe it has lost its visual appeal because of rust, broken pieces or paint spatter. Alternatively, maybe it has stopped functioning, or maybe just maybe you want to add a more fancy light fixture that comes with a fan, heater as well as a light. Before removing the bathroom light fixture, look around your hardware store and decide on a possible replacement. Fixtures come in different shapes, sizes, colours, styles, brands and price ranges.

Turn on the bathroom light fixture and any other switches located in the bathroom so that you can make sure everything turns off later. Locate the circuit breaker box or fuse box in your home. It is usually located in a basement or master-bedroom. Turn off the circuit to just that room or as a precautionary step, turn off the main breaker and power off the entire home.

Flicker all of the switches in the bathroom to make sure everything turned off. Stand on a ladder if needed and then remove any light bulbs or decorative pieces such as globes or shades from the light fixture using a screwdriver. Loosen any screws or clips that are holding the ceiling or wall fixture and socket in place using a screwdriver.

Push the wire connection box into the ceiling if needed to expose the wires and then test the wires with a voltmeter to insure no currency. Disconnect the wires from the bathroom light fixture by unscrewing all of the wire nuts using your hand. Remove the old light fixture.

Strip the exposed wires if they look worn out or damaged using a wire-stripping tool being careful to remove only ½ inch at a time and stripping no more than 1 inch. Place wire nuts on all of the wires until you are ready to replace the bathroom light fixture and tuck the wiring out of the way.

Turn the power back on at the main circuit breaker or fuse box for all rooms or for all the other rooms except for the bathroom.


Wear protective eye glasses if you will be working over your head. Warn others when you are ready to remove the light fixture for safety reasons.


Whenever working with electrical wiring you most always turn the power off at the breaker box and make sure that the main breaker is off. Check and retest the wiring once the fixture has been loosen enough to expose the wires with a wire tester.

Things You'll Need

  • Voltmeter
  • Wire-nuts
  • Screwdriver
  • Wire-stripping tool
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